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Any experiences with broken TPMS sensors here? (Think I was ripped off)

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Old 01-10-11, 02:08 PM   #1
RocketGuy3
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Default Any experiences with broken TPMS sensors here? (Think I was ripped off)

I'll try to make this story as short as possible since I have a tendency to ramble:

I took my car in to Discount Tire to have the front tires flipped. Was supposed to be just a $27+tax service since I had lifetime balancing from them, and opted not to get the TPMS rebuild kits (since they were only 6000 miles old). However, it turns out that, according to the shop, the TPMS in one of my wheels was completely broken off and was loose inside the tire. They told me I can either leave it off and deal with the sensor light being on, or that I could pay them $100+ for a new sensor/rebuild kit to replace it.

I was suspicious even at the time that THEY broke it, because I think I would have seen the sensor light go on (I realize that the sensor communicates wirelessly, but it still seems like something that would have broken the sensor's functionality, not sure). But more importantly, I would have heard/felt some vibration from this thing rattling around in there, as it certainly would have thrown off my tire's balance. I told them about this suspicion, and they just calmly denied anything. I figured I might as well buy the kit since the price was reasonable based on my knowledge, and I didn't want to have to pay someone to unmount/remount the wheel later.

I came home to read some more about it, and I'm pretty sure that they did in fact break it. Apparently it's pretty easy to do so on the tire mounting machines if you're not careful, and people seem to experience tire vibration when they have a sensor loose in their tire.

What do you guys think? Has something similar ever happened to you?

If the consensus is that they are probably lying, what are my options to get these unscrupulous people to give me the money for my sensor? I'm thinking my best option would be to go through my credit card company and file a complaint.

Thanks in advance for your help. I mooch of you guys so much for advice, but I really appreciate it.
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Old 01-10-11, 03:27 PM   #2
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It could be possible that they may not have had the proper tire machine either. Ie, using the ones which make contact with the rim (which is meant for steel tires back then and not aluminum) to pry the tire off the wheel (cause it to scruff or bend the wheel), while the proper machine does not make contact with the rim at all.
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Old 01-10-11, 04:19 PM   #3
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Email corporate and explain that the tire sensor light was NOT on before you brought it in and there was no noise and no vibration.

Tell them what you want (you called lexus , blah blah blach) and that you suspect that the shop broke it.

Then let them know that you like their shop and have planned to use it in the future. However if you cannot trust the employees and managers to do the right thing you will have to let your friends and families not to trust that particular store.

I had something like this happen with my mother and their AC recharge scam.
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Old 01-10-11, 04:28 PM   #4
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Be prepared to go to conciliation court otherwise known as small-claims court.
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Old 01-10-11, 04:38 PM   #5
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Do you think I would have to go that far? I'm hoping it doesn't come to that and that I can get them to give in by threatening (that word seems kinda strong in this scenario) to file complaint with the BBB, with my credit card company, leave a bad review on every site I can think of, take away my business (and I've bought expensive tires from them in the past), and recommend the same from all of my friends.

I don't know, maybe I'm being naive, but I feel that should carry some weight (at least ~$110 worth of weight) and that these places generally don't want pissed off customers... especially when they know they're in the wrong.

I could also try Jmags idea of emailing corporate.
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Old 01-10-11, 04:41 PM   #6
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They wont want to lose you over 100 bucks, email corp. be firm but respectful. Just state what happened and why you believe there was something wrong.
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Old 01-10-11, 04:52 PM   #7
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^^^
I'll give that a try.

I'm thinking I should at least go back there and talk to them first, though. Maybe ask for the manager and see if I can reason with them. I'm afraid that I will be too pissed off/rude and inarticulate to get my way, though, heh.
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Old 01-10-11, 05:00 PM   #8
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Meh, if you already brought it up and they denied it. Forget it.
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Old 01-10-11, 07:55 PM   #9
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You know when the sensor is broken inside. There is vibration. The sensor inside my wheel came loose when I was using the strap setup and there is noise and vibe.

Discount tire has also broken one of my sensors while dismounting. It happens if they aren't careful and the tire bead catches the sensor. The plastic snapped right off. I was watching the guy do it to so they replaced and programmed on the spot.
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Old 01-10-11, 08:08 PM   #10
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I think your problem will be with the fact that you already paid for the sensor. Hopefully their corporate office can make it right for you.

To the other poster, I would seriously doubt that a national tire-chain that sells modern rims and tires does not have the proper mounting machine!
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Old 01-10-11, 08:33 PM   #11
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^^^
I was thinking that at first (about it being more difficult since I already paid), but I realized that it doesn't seem like it would make much/any difference to their bottom line. Either they refund me $X (what they would have to do now), or they give me a service that costs $X for free. In either case, it costs them $X.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sinister2c View Post
You know when the sensor is broken inside. There is vibration. The sensor inside my wheel came loose when I was using the strap setup and there is noise and vibe.

Discount tire has also broken one of my sensors while dismounting. It happens if they aren't careful and the tire bead catches the sensor. The plastic snapped right off. I was watching the guy do it to so they replaced and programmed on the spot.
Good to know. Yeah, I'm probably going to stand outside the garage and watch from now on... I trust people less and less every day. It's a damn shame how many scumbags are out there.



EDIT: One other thing while I'm here. I understand that a new TPMS sensor needs to be synced up to the ECU one way or another. Right now, it doesn't appear that that syncing was done since I am getting the low-pressure light in the dash. They told me that I would have to "drive around for a while for it to reset", which sounded like BS, but I thought I would probably have to be coming back there soon anyways, and didn't really want to stick around at the time. But now it's been a while (driven ~20 or so miles since the service), and the light is still on. Do I need to get them to re-program something in the ECU to get things working?

I also noticed that they slightly under-inflated the serviced tires. 32 and 33 PSI. Not enough to set off the TPMS warning, but still silly for a tire shop, especially when accompanied with all the other garbage they screwed up... I'm starting to wonder if they even flipped my tires at all. Doesn't seem like this place can do anything right except run a credit card.
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Next up: Just some paint and body work, and then she is COMPLETE

Last edited by RocketGuy3; 01-10-11 at 08:39 PM..
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Old 01-11-11, 02:34 AM   #12
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The shop most likely have broken it. If it was broken before they touched it the light would have came on right away and it would have broken into little pieces by rolling around in the tire. Plus you would have heard it rolling around. When you look at the sensor you can see if the broken area was fresh or not and if it was then the shop broke it.
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Old 01-11-11, 05:21 AM   #13
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I'm thinking the shop broke it when they were removing the tire, and from what it sounds like they didn't program the new sensor for you.
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Old 01-11-11, 06:49 AM   #14
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I'm having same issue my tire went flat twice last week but sensor didn't really come up! More to add, last summer my tire ripped off by metal in the street but sensor didn't notify me the tire is loosing pressure, I noticed the steering is getting heavier and drifting towards left side. I was able to control but this raise a serious issue!
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Old 01-11-11, 08:07 AM   #15
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this happened to me when i had new tires put on and at first they said my sensor was already broken well i looked at the back of my rim and you can see where the machine grabbed my rim and sure enough it was right where the sensor was so i pointed it out and they said okay and ordered a new aftermarket one.
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Old 01-11-11, 08:07 AM
 
 
 
 
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